There has been on-going publicity about the serious issues facing bees worldwide – disease and hive collapse and the impact of conventional gardening and farming practices.
We live in the Bay of Plenty a major horticultural area of New Zealand where much of our economic wellbeing depends on the hardworking contribution of Bees AND we are all Tree Croppers and gardeners aware of the impact on production and lifestyle if Bee numbers were to significantly reduce.
Anyone is welcome to join in and support the various aspects of the project. Please let us have any ideas or suggestions you may have.
The life status and conditions for bees are international issues for agribusiness and environmentalists. There are all sorts of projects going on – some have wonderful names like PLAN BEE!. Take a look at the New Beekeepers Website – they have lots of interesting articles and information.
Trees for Bees
The bee plays an important role in the Horticultural and Agricultural economies of N.Z. It is also important for the home gardener and orchard. The honey bee and the bumble are important pollinators for many plants and also provide us with honey and other bee products. In return for providing these services bees use nectar, pollen and resins for food and hive maintenance. A good supply of flowers during the year is essential for continuous bee health and hive strength. In recent years bees have come under attack on many fronts:
new diseases and parasites e.g. varroa
a reduction of native bush
reduction of waste areas
low maintenance urban landscaping
the increased use of chemical sprays
The Bay of Plenty branch of NZTCA has put together a series of plant lists to assist you to provide a good spread of flowering in your garden, landscape or native planting.
Plan your garden flowers, shrubs and trees to provide flowers over most of the year
Mow your lawn in sections so there is always some daisies, clovers and other weed flowers available
Leave waste areas for weed flowers especially over winter
Let some herbs and vegetables go up to flower especially brassicas, thymes and sages
Use sprays that are non toxic to bees
Do not spray plants when in flower
Remove non target flowers when spraying
Spray early in the morning or late evening when the bees are not active
If possible adopt strategies to avoid spraying altogether
By considering bees and making the environment attractive to bees you will be rewarded with better fruit, berry and vegetable crops.
Remember – where would we be without the bee – and get buzzing – a great painless bee friendly tip from Thelma and the late John Dockeray – don’t mow all your clover or flowering lawn areas at once – stagger the mowing so that there are always areas flowering for the bees. Accept that it’s less tidy and less uniform – but think of the immediate increase in bee food if we all did it!
You could support this project by telling us the names of any trees, shrubs, plants or herbs you have found are doing a particularly great job of attracting bees in your locality.
If you know the botanical name of the plant, please include that too AND when the plant flowers in your area.
Bee Friendly Flowers – a quick peek: Agastashe, Anthemis, Armeria, Aster, most campanula, Centaurea, Erysimum, Leonotis, Monarda, lavender, echinacea, Origanum, clovers, salvia, Yarrows, Nepeta, Lonicera, roses, Penstemon, perovskia, Physostegia,Scabiosa, Thymus, Verbascum, Verbena and Veronica. Most of the above have pollen pleasing to bees… Also many wild flowers. With thanks to Margaret B
BEE FRIENDLY o o o o o o BEE HAPPY
Acknowledgements and Further Reading
Walsh, R.S. (1978) Nectar and Pollen Sources of N.Z. NBA of N.Z.
Johns, L. and Stevenson, V. (1991). Fruit for the Home Garden, Australia: Collins, A. and R.
Allan, H. H. (1961) Flora of N.Z. Vol. 1 Govt. Printer, Wellington, N.Z.
Moore, L. B. and E. Edgar (1970) Flora of N.Z. Vol. 2 Govt. Printer, Wellington, N.Z.